Home HEALTH Why Mortuary Attendants Put Cotton Wool In A Dead Body’s Nostrils, Mouth...

Why Mortuary Attendants Put Cotton Wool In A Dead Body’s Nostrils, Mouth And Ears?


Has it ever occurred to you why cotton wool is usually stuffed in a dead person’s nostrils and ears? If that question has been lingering in your mind, then the answer is here.

When a person is reported dead, science has it that his/her body starts losing temperature to the atmosphere such that the body ends up losing all the resistance it had against germs which initiate the process of body decaying.
Because the body now has no resistance to germs, decay will start occurring inside the body of the dead. Usually, the first stage of human decomposition is called autolysis, or self-digestion, and begins immediately after death. ie (As soon as blood circulation and respiration stops) and the body has no way of getting oxygen or removing wastes. Excess carbon dioxide causes an acidic environment in the dead body causing membranes in cells to rupture. The membranes release enzymes that begin eating the cells from the inside out. This decomposition will cause gases to start generating and building up due to the decay of food that was in the digestive system before death occurred. These gases (methane, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide ) will start escaping through all the body openings or any other openings that might have developed at the time of death such as during a fatal injury to different parts of the body. That is why at times, gargling sound emits from bodies even after hours of death. So before “packing ” of the dead body, the professionals/morgue attendants in Hospital Mortuaries or the funeral parlors, extract many such contents from the inside the body and stuff with synthetic cotton wool dipped in Chemicals which will kill any germs from coming out of the body.

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If the packing is done professionally, after removing many internal organs possibility of any liquids flowing out of the dead body is not usual unless the dead person had somebody decay even before death occurred due to some diseases.
Having known that? It, therefore, can be deduced that dead bodies are usually stuffed with cotton wool on the nose and the ears to;
1) Prevent infestation by insects into the body which leads to germs accumulation.
2) To prevent leakage of bodily fluids as the corpse decomposes.
3) To prevent the escape of methane, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide gases produced by the already decaying intestine and other internal organs